Warhead, Slayride, Smeltdown, Rotgut and Jackhammer.
It's uncertain whether they can transform. Slayride and Jackhammer don't really look like they Transfrom. On the other hand Rotgut could easily be the ape mode of a robot, Warhead could easily transform into a tank, and Smeltdown could also have an alt mode. (Probably the good old hovercar?)
The mutants were a group of evil and deformed Transformers who lived deep under the surface of the planet in a place called "Underworld". Underworld was a cavernous domain deep under the surface of the planet, even deeper than Cybertron's disused sewer systems. Way down in the bowels of the planet.
The mutants seem to rule the Underworld, using it as their personal playground. It's possible they have 'gang wars', or sometimes come up to the surface to make raids. They seemed far too violent to just wander around being mean to the walls. On the other hand, they seemed too stupid to come to the surface and attempt any sort of conquest (after all, all five mutants we saw were beaten by ONE Minibot, despite being clearly more powerful than him).
In the cartoon we see the concept of Cybertron having being built outwards in layers. The deeper into Cybertron you travel the more of its history you discover. In the comics you hardly get this sense, and the Underworld (and the mutants) are one of the only times when this sense of 'deeper = older' comes through in the comics. Another time is when the Autobots end up in the heart of Cybertron and meet the Keeper.
Another thing is the idea of 'mutants'. What is a mutation in a race like the Transformers? When this was written the 'spawning' method of Transformers breeding was probably little more than a twinkle in Simon Furman's eye. However, the mutants DO fit well with this form of reproduction. But in keeping with TF reproduction as we knew it then, how do 'mutants' come about? Possibly as experimental new forms which failed? Or maybe Furman actually had 'spawning' planned all the way back then? Doubt it.
As a side note, these mutants have nothing to do with the 'Mutant Beast Wars' toy line. It's likely that whoever conceived of that toy line didn't even have the SLIGHTEST inkling that there had already been Transformers called 'Mutants'. I'm sure they WERE aware, however, that an X-Men movie was coming out that year.
The group of mutants we see in 'Underworld' seems to have lived underground for a long time, bullying and killing anyone stupid enough to come down there. Which can't be THAT many people, because the mutants go down very easily when someone fights BACK.
The names of the mutants are Warhead, Slayride, Smeltdown, Rotgut and Jackhammer. Warhead has a tank-turret sort of a thing for a head. Slayride has a sled or sleigh as his lower half. Smeltdown is a huge furnace with guns for arms. Rotgut is an ugly apeish robot. Jackhammer appears to be on some sort of spring and enjoys ramming his head through walls.
We were introduced to the mutants when we saw them hunting a small group of Minibot cadets. They stalked the three Minibots, Tailgate, Subsea and Flattop. They ended up killing Subsea and Flattop relatively easily.
Warhead accounted for Subsea, and Smeltdown accounted for Flattop. However there it stops. Tailgate kept his head. He blasted Smeltdown's furnace, killing all the mutants except for Rotgut. Even Rotgut was soon killed, tossed into the inferno which resulted from the death of Smeltdown.
This explosion, and fight, served to revive the 'Demons' under the surface of Cybertron, and caused a lot of chaos.
It's possible there were many other mutants down in the Underworld. Whether they were killed by Demons, killed in the battle against Unicron, changed by the Last Autobot, or still remain, is unknown.
Most of them would probably have only one high stat. Rotgut would probably have a high strength. Smeltdown would probably have a high firepower, same with Warhead. Jackhammer might have a high strength, again. Maybe he'd have a high endurance as well to compensate for crashing through walls all the time? Hard to say with Slayride, who didn't dod anything.
I suppose someone could do Action Master kit-bashes of the mutants. Warhead wouldn't be too hard, nor Smeltdown. For Warhead you'd just have to get the detailing right, and replace his head with a tank-turret from another toy. Smeltdown would just need tubes instead of arms. The rest, like Slayride and Jackhammer, who don't have proper bottom halves, or Rotgut who is the wrong shape for an Action Master, might be harder.
Still a gift set of all five mutants would be a kinda cool thing to be able to buy.
Imagine a race who breeds by BUILDING the new members of its population. How can this method result in mutation? Well, I think there are several ways. First of all, the 'life source' that is the Matrix is unpredictable. Who knows how it might change a body when it gives life to it? A mad scientist/engineer might build strange forms. Or a sane one might build experimental forms.
Of course with the 'spawning' origin in Gen2 mutants sound perfectly reasonable. A more organic method of reproduction lends itself to a more organic line of mutation. The Mutants could easily have arisen due to a mistake in the spawning ceremony, or just genetic elements of chance. Outcasts, they would have become cruel and deadly, and probably were forced into the caverns under Cybertron.
Whatever the case, they're all damned ugly.
Well, maybe not all of them, but most of them. My friends say Smeltdown has a cool head. Perhaps you should check it out and see for yourself? Actually, one of my friends said his head looked like Galvatron's. Probably because of the side-view just above.
UK Issue #245
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